Today, most professionals enjoy the benefits of being able to work from home or from a place they prefer outside a traditional working environment. With the increasing number of people who choose to work remotely, there is no denying that this working style presents itself as the more awesome and more convenient option. But while working remotely can be hugely fulfilling and rewarding, it also comes with a set of challenges and underlying issues that we normally face when we are in the office, such as keeping our creativity and productivity.
Regardless of where we are, we need to stay professional during working hours. To ensure that we could pull off our remote works successfully, here are some tips on how to organize our workstation for better productivity.
Benefits of Working Remotely
Is there something better than being able to answer emails while sipping our favourite drink and listening to our choice of music while we’re still in our pyjamas? Well, most of us might have heard the benefits of working remotely. But there are additional perks that might convince modern professionals out there to do the switch finally.
- Your office can be of any kind, and anywhere
- Fewer expenses, more savings
- More flexible schedule
- More opportunities for learning and becoming independent
- Quicker but more effective meetings
- You can save yourself from the typical office politics
- Better health
- Enhanced work-life balance
The list of benefits could go on and on, but before the excitement takes us over, perhaps it would be better to first read the below tips to ensure that we’ll be able to pull everything off successfully. After all, we certainly won’t be able to reap such benefits if we cannot provide excellent outputs for our employers or clients on time.
Tips on How to Be Productive When Working Remotely
1. Make sure to have a dedicated space at home or in a place where you work. Working from home is no doubt awesome…right up until one of our family members comes in and turns on the television without bothering about the noise. It could also be our roommate who needs to get some things done, or it could also be our kids and pets that would do everything to get our attention. Regardless of where we are, we have to allot a personal working space with ground rules set to ensure that we can finish our jobs without distraction.
2. Apply workplace ergonomics. We all have the opportunity to set up a productive working space. One thing that can help us achieve a healthy environment is to apply workplace ergonomics. Just because we are working remotely doesn’t mean that we are immune to injuries and other common workplace problems such as fatigue, back pain, and repetitive strain injury (RSI).
Fortunately, many working desks today are designed with the primary purpose of keeping us away from adopting a sedentary lifestyle, such as standing desks. There are also those computer tables that can be adjusted to fit our height, complemented with an ergonomic chair that provides lumbar support, adjustable seat depth, armrests, and recline-ability. According to most ergonomic consultants, our arms and hands should be parallel to the floor when we are typing on a keyboard. Our feet must be flat on the floor, and we should be able to move our legs comfortably under our desks. The importance of an ergonomic mouse shouldn’t be taken for granted as well. The wrong choice of a mouse can lead us to bend our wrists in uncomfortable positions. Thus, it is of utmost importance to choose a mouse and other input tools that would comfortably fit the size of our hands.
3. Personalize your desk. All workstations demand creativity and innovation. Many studies in the past have already proven that personalizing our workspace can easily bring much-needed inspiration and joy that can help us increase our overall energy and work productivity. Adding plants, a photo of our family and loved ones, or even our favourite quote can make all the difference in the overall atmosphere of our working environment. In personalizing our space, we can add everything that can quickly relieve our stress and exhaustion, something that we can call our “happy pill.”
4. Create a to-do list. Compared to a traditional corporate setting, remote workers have more control when it comes to structuring daily or weekly schedules. While it sounds incredible, it can also be a source of slacking, especially when we adopt the mindset that we have all day to finish what’s on our plate. While it can’t be tempting to stay on our beds and sit only in front of our computers when we are in the mood, it’s vital to keep in mind that it wouldn’t take us far in this game.
Wherever we are, we have to institute a working schedule, a to-do list that can help us gear up for the day to day’s work. Despite having more freedom and flexibility, we need to stick to a schedule that is suited to our strengths and needs. Having a list of what needs to be accomplished would inspire us to be more concentrated and more productive, which would ultimately allow us to stay on top of our deadlines.
5. Be both creative and disciplined when you are working while on travel. Remote workers are the same as corporate employees; we also need to travel and relax once in a while. Sometimes, we have to go to another place, either for personal or professional needs. Fortunately, we can still keep excellent creativity and productivity rate while we are travelling. We need to make plans ahead of the trip, especially when we are going to a place in a different time zone. Make a list of the priority tasks, as well as other relevant notes and calls we need to take. It can also help if we would check our hotel and see if there’s a stable Internet connection, or if there’s a place where we can still work comfortably. As much as possible, we must have contingency plans in case we encounter unideal circumstances along the way.
6. Make sure to have proper lighting in the workplace. Good quality lighting in our workstation allows us to accomplish our tasks easier and faster. After all, we receive about 85% of information through our sense of sight. When our workplace has appropriate lighting, we are lessening the chances of experiencing eye fatigue that usually leads to headaches. Furthermore, when we can see our surroundings clearly, we reduce the chance of work-related injuries.
7. Make your desk tidy and organized. Apart from being comfortable, our work needs to be efficient and streamlined. An office full of clutter can quickly affect our concentration. It can also lead us to misplace relevant documents and get derailed out of schedule. We should keep in mind to store only what is necessary. Even if our work desk is just a few steps away from our beds, it must be able to exude a work-mode atmosphere, of course, with some treats like plants and picture frames on the side.
- Make sure to have designated storage for your files and folders. It will help you easily find the documents that you need.
- Organize your accessories, too, including folder clips, post-its, and pens. You can have them in your desk drawer, but you can also have a separate box for them. Likewise, your computer files should also be organized. Save them in their designated folders, and delete those files which are no longer necessary.
- Use cable wire management to avoid wires and cables mess up on your desk or in your workstation.
- Always have a calendar on your desk or near your work station, so you can mark important dates such as work meetings, deadlines, and other things you need to attend.
8. Avoid procrastination. One of the most significant challenges of working remotely is the ability to beat procrastination. There can be various distractions while we're working on some tasks.
Once we get used to procrastinating, the tendency is to rush things, especially when we're about to hit deadlines. More likely, we'll get poor results and the quality of our work will be compromised. We must try to practice discipline and follow our to-do list. Postponing our tasks can cause bigger issues in the future, therefore, we must develop a systematic approach when it comes to organizing the tasks that we should prioritize.
Whether we are working remotely or not, there are many things that we have to consider and learn to be able to achieve our goals. Discipline, commitment, dedication, and consistency are some of the attitudes we should embrace to get successful at any craft. The tips above can help us figure out what would work best for our working situation.